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How much give should a spring tree have?

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  • How much give should a spring tree have?

    I have a used Black Country Vinici on trial and I was checking the tree and there seems to be way too much movement to me. When I rest the pommel against my thigh and press moderately onto the seat with one hand and pull the cantle toward me with the other, the seat flexes and the cantle will move toward me about 2". Is this normal for these saddles? My current saddles are an ancient stubben sigfried and a tad coffin and neither of them budge. I really hope it's not broken... it's a lovely saddle!

  • #2
    Does it make a clicking or snapping sound when you flex it? That's a bad sign. My experience (limited!) with broken or cracked trees is, the horse usually reacts badly. Very badly.

    I've had Passiers that can flex like crazy, yet the trees are all right. I remember Stubbens as being quite stiff. About the Tad Coffin, I have no idea...

    Do you have a saddler nearby to consult with?

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    • #3
      wow, that sounds like a lot of travel. I've had 3 bc saddles and plenty of spring trees and none of them flexed like that. Do you hear any clicking sounds?

      try the other way around though, put the cantle on your thigh and bring the pommel towards you, don't press on the seat, see what happens. I've never pressed down on the seat before.

      Also try corner to corner, put the cantle on your thigh and hand on one side of the pommel trying to flex to the opposite corner of cantle. Do both sides and see if there is a difference in the amount of flex.

      I'd be nervous frankly, 2" is a ton. I've had a lot of saddles and never had one flex more than just a hair. Some more sproingy than others but never so much I could really say its an inch or more.

      I'd probably be saying thanks but no thanks.
      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Beasmom View Post
        I've had Passiers that can flex like crazy, yet the trees are all right. I remember Stubbens as being quite stiff. About the Tad Coffin, I have no idea...
        Thread hijack. I was just thinking about dragging out my old Passier that I bought on ebay a couple of years ago. It's tree really flexed, but I didn't think it was broken (no sound or obvious distortions underneath when flexed). So your words are comforting...

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, they're crazy flexible! The steel part of the tree is reinforcement over the pommel, not the whole tree. Not on a Passier, anyway.

          First time a saddler flexed my Passier, I thought she broke it. (She didn't!)

          Comment


          • #6
            My Black Country saddle is currently boxed up and ready to be shipped out because something is majorly wrong with the tree. It started "clunking" with every step yesterday It's less than a year old. There are also two horizontal ridges across the seat.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              It doesn't make any noises at all, and when it flexes it remains straight and it maintains a stiff tension throughout the motion. Also, I tried flexing it again without pushing downward on the seat and it was way better. It still flexed, but the displacement was less than 1". I tried it both ways pommel towards me/cantle towards me, and the results were the same both ways. I'm going to have my trainer take a look at it tomorrow.

              Eddy's Mom- I hope yours is fixable!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sister7 View Post
                How much give should a spring tree have?
                If a spring tree could have give?

                (Sorry, your thread title makes that woodchuck rhyme keep going around in my head!)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sister7 View Post
                  It doesn't make any noises at all, and when it flexes it remains straight and it maintains a stiff tension throughout the motion. Also, I tried flexing it again without pushing downward on the seat and it was way better. It still flexed, but the displacement was less than 1". I tried it both ways pommel towards me/cantle towards me, and the results were the same both ways. I'm going to have my trainer take a look at it tomorrow.

                  Eddy's Mom- I hope yours is fixable!
                  I hope so too

                  Originally posted by yaya View Post
                  If a spring tree could have give?

                  (Sorry, your thread title makes that woodchuck rhyme keep going around in my head!)
                  HAHA! That was funny

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    update- I just had the saddle looked at by a saddle fitter, and she said the tree looks okay! We don't know the age of the saddle- there is no serial number or any other markings besides the BC plate and nailhead- but it looks pretty old. She said the movement was normal for the older spring trees.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Did the fitter actually open up the saddle? I've been around alot of 20-40yr old Stubbens & they certainly did not flex to that degree, OTOH a friend has an old Passier that does flex alot but fitter also noted saddle as in poor condition (horse hasn't complained yet) - hopefully the price reflects the age

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Stubbens are pretty rigid. Passiers are pretty flexible. Depends on the manufacturer, the tree and the construction.

                        A saddle can be in "poor condition" and still have a sound tree. (Dry leather, poor patching jobs, that sort of thing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Unfortunately, you can't know if it's broken until it's opened up and looked at. Broken trees are expensive to fix too!

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